Sailors rescue man from fire

HMS Duncan has returned to Portsmouth after spending three months in the Mediterranean Picture:  L/Phot Louise George

HMS Duncan returns to Portsmouth after three months away at sea

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A DUTCH yachtsman was pulled to safety by sailors on-board a Royal Navy warship, after his boat burst into flames.

HMS Mersey was on routine fishery protection duties off the Yarmouth coast when she heard a frantic mayday call from the yacht Pimpernel.

The only known facts were that the vessel was on fire and that it was in the area.

Working with other nearby vessels, Mersey’s company found the yacht and prepared fire fighting, first aid and search and rescue teams as they moved to assist.

As the ship approached, the crew saw the yacht was ablaze and explosions were visible from several miles away.

The yacht was destroyed and Mersey’s sailors scoured the sea for survivors, finding the only occupant of the yacht in the sea.

He was picked up by sailors and taken to HMS Mersey, where a first aid crew discovered he was in shock, but otherwise unharmed.